The Climate of Our Lives

Photo: Autumn Leaves and Raindrops – Raindrop patterns on a Autumn leaf – Image processed in-camera Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella

“Prayer is to our soul what rain is to the soil. Fertilize the soil ever so richly, it will remain barren unless fed by frequent rains.”

~ Saint John Vianney

There has been a lot of talk lately, even from the pope, about global warming. How some say the climate change is in a state of emergency, and how others have a different opinion. Though both sides of the camp agree that the earth is warming up, and that it is best to be nice to it, global warming or not.

As much as all of this is important, I think the state of emergency in America is not as much about the climate of our environment, but more about the climate of our lives. We need to invest more time in the silence of listening to our own voice instead of others, say, on social media and the like, and being an positive example to others in our lives.

More specifically, American’s need to all do a better job at embracing the Constitution and the Ten Commandments. Many people today in our culture have made themselves their own God, we turn to each other for answers that only God can provide. And if you watch the news or social media with a keen eye, you will see there are movements like pro-abortion, gay pride, or gun control to name a few, who are just a small group of the masses making it look like everyone agrees.

It goes back to the saying the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The business model of social networks has replaced the simple act of being in community. The solution I think is how we often place people and things before God, often without realizing it. We put our happiness into the hands of other people – our spouse, our friends, or our children, or co-workers, the government.

Yet, this always falls flat because another person can never fulfill the deepest desires of our hearts. No matter how much you love your spouse or children. When we have God at the center of our lives and every relationship, those human relationships will be right-ordered and bring even more joy to our lives.

A priest I know said that he often wil tell new couples that he is helping to prepare for marriage, “Your future spouse cannot fulfill your deepest desires. Only God can.” Put God first in your individual lives and in your marriage and then your love will be taken to a new level. As each of you grows closer to Jesus, you will grow closer to one another.

If you talk to the people in prison ministry, they will tell you most inmates, and mass shooters, come from a home where they didn’t have a father as a positive influence in their lives. Too many of us depend on the government to solve our problems, like creating a law so everyone can have a gun, instead of doing the deep work of loving through example those in our lives on how to do the right thing. Instead we have sports figures creating confusion about how to (not) respect the American flag and kneeling for the Cross.

The fiber of our country, and the Constitution, is to embrace the Judeo – Christian beliefs. When we choose to not rule out the Ten Commandments, by living them, all else will fall into place. Yes we can have freedom of religion, after we don’t rule out the beliefs that founded this country. Again, the reason everything is falling apart is because the ones making all the noise lack structure, and don’t respect the structure already in place.

As much as you hear about the latest scandal in the Catholic church, people are flocking to the church all over the world because they lack structure in their lives. The Catholic Mass and the Catholic Sacraments provide structure. One priest abuse is too many, but you would think the whole church is full of abusive priests, when it is a small, small group. I would suspect about the same percentage of parents who abuse their own children.

This all goes back to how we need to have a heart for others before ourselves, and to seek the causes of the problems in our in our own lives and work to correct it. We need a return to making prayer, and dependence on God, as the foundation of our being. If you talk with people who work in hospice or cancer, they will attest to the positive difference, and healing experience, from people who have prayer in their lives.

Let us start by praying for our country, and for our world, every morning when we wake up to a new day, please pray for me, and know that I am praying for all of you.

My post here today is a bit longer than usual, so sorry for the rant. I just think this needs to be said. This is my opinion, and I don’t mean that I have all the answers.

Keep Your Focus

Photo: Weeds – Square Sepia Photograph Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella – Note: This image has intentional soft focus.

Sometimes weeds are beautiful to look at, other times can grow so much when not cut back they can choke out flowers and other landscape growing around them.

In life, weeds are the distractions and noise that keep us from doing the deep work that we are called to do.

In our spiritual lives, weeds are the things that keep us from God. When you give God the place to speak, He has a lot to say.

All of this to say, that we need weeds in our lives to help us keep our focus, and the fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good ones.

The World Is A Great Gift

Photo: The World Is A Great Gift – weather illuminated clouds above the trees. – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

As I rise up to each passing new day, as with the passing of the clouds, I’m not only thankful for the gift of the beauty of this world, but also thankful to God the giver of this gift.

To fully appreciate this, I think we need to make time for solitude: A state in which you spend time alone, or with God, in thought and free from the input from other minds or interactions (such as listening to the news, podcasts, or reading books).

Because we live in a war torn world shows how we can easily take this world for granted. Solitude, when kept in balance, can keep things in right perspective.

How To Beat The System

Photo: Sunset on the Ranch – Copyright 2012 Frank J Casella

Back in the day when I started to drive a car, the police were in the beginning phase of using radars to detect the speed you were driving. What followed was the radar detectors so that you would know if you were in the vicinity of the radar.

Well, over the years there has been this back and forth of new radars or detectors as the signals kept getting upgraded. So I recall asking my late father at the time what this is all about. He told me not to worry about it .. that the best way to beat the system was to simply drive the speed limit.

This way there is no reason for the radar or the detector, because we are following the laws or the rules. But, there is something in us as humans that is competitive, or something. Today you might compare this to digital communications, and privacy and security with search engines, browsers, and email.

Enter the Vivaldi browser: “In a world where what we read online is being monitored, stored, and sold to advertisers, Vivaldi Feed Reader is a breath of fresh air. Skip the algorithms and create a private news feed of the latest content from your favorite sources.”

Short of the long, We are PAYING, with our data, to use these services. But we still consider them to be free, which makes us very lenient on them when we get poor value.”

The only way it seems to stay out from under the radar is to stay off the platforms as much as possible, at least for now. Privacy and security is not something you should have to pay for on the free internet.

Truth and Transparency

Photo: Truth and Transparency Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

The best way to build trust with others, is to be truthful with transparency.

When we rationalize, or cloud things over because we are afraid how others will respond to us, then are we being true to ourselves?

If we don’t know who we are, then how can we expect to be transparent with others, to trust the person they think we are.

Resolving Conflicts

Light and Wood Monochrome – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella. Sometimes, it is important to seek for grace though the darkness, before we can experience elegance from the Light.

The start of strife is like the opening of a dam;
check a quarrel before it bursts forth!

Proverbs 17:14

The arguer insist on his own way.

A conflict resolver looks for a resolution instead of trying to win an argument.

Love means looking out for the other persons interest.

Unresolved conflicts stand as barriers to unity, whether it be friendships, co-workers, politics, or a marriage, etc.

If we don’t find a way to meet in the middle, we become enemies instead of teammates.

So, stop trying to win an argument, and start trying to understand each other.

Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others.

Philippians 2: 3-4

Letting Go To Grow

Photo: Magnificence in the Sky – Square Color Landscape Art Photograph Copyright 2021 Frank J Casella – A magnificent cloud show illuminated by the sunrise, above the silhouetted trees. This image was softened a bit for presentation.

The more we hold on to, the less we give away.

The more we give away, the less we have to hold on to.

Letting go teaches us there is more to life, than just ourselves.

When we give ourselves away, it teaches us how to grow.

Vivaldi